14 January 2003
A group of Afrikaans intellectuals is calling on the South African government to do more to recognize the language, culture, economic and political interests of minorities.
Calling it self, “The Group of 63,” it says, “Everywhere a balance is being sought between an overpowering force of majorities and the impotence of minorities.” The group says, however, the majority of Afrikaners “do not have the faintest desire to return to the past, but rather want to contribute to the new democracy.”
The group addresses the recent wave of bombings in South Africa that was carried out by “radical Afrikaners.” It says the violence is “typical of a world-wide occurring phenomenon: the alienation of an cultural group in turn leads to the radicalization of a small sub-group and, in some cases, even to violence.” The Group of 63 has condemned the bombings and called for those responsible to be “prosecuted resolutely.” But it warns the “forces underlying radicalization…demand urgent attention.”
Professor Danie Goosen, who teaches the philosophy of religion at the university of South Africa, is chairman of The Group Of 63. From Pretoria, he spoke to English to Africa reporter Joe De Capua. He says Afrikaners have a great deal to contribute to South Africa.
He says, “Unless minorities are accommodated, South Africa shall never develop into a true democracy.” He says the best way for Afrikaners to deal with legacy of Apartheid is to work for democracy in the current South Africa. Otherwise, he says, many Afrikaners who could contribute to the country will leave.
Click above links to download or listen to De Capua interview.